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William Maley

Scion News: Scion Misses Youth Market, Struggling In Sales

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 3, 2013

Ten years ago, Toyota introduced a new brand that promised young buyers fun and funky vehicles. That brand was Scion. Today, Scion is in a bit of a struggle.

Originally conceived as a brand for young buyers, Scion has struggled to keep them in the fold. According to

The Detroit News, 15 percent of Scion customers are under age 35. Meanwhile, 14 percent of Scion customers

“We’re still a good 15 years or more below the average industry age,” said Scion chief Doug Murtha.

While that is true, that number has been shrinking. In 2008, more than 20 percent of Scion customers were under 35 and less than 8 percent were 65 or older.

Sales aren't looking so good either for Scion. In 2006, the brand had its best sales with more than 173,000 vehicles. Last year, the brand only sold just 74,000 vehicles. Most of Scion's lineup is languishing on the lot except for the FR-S which has been the only model that has been performing well.

“Their market share topped out in 2006. Since then, it’s kind of fizzled and it’s just been dragging along the bottom. They have a nasty habit of putting out cars that have a limited mass-market appeal,” said Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst with Edmunds.com.

That has been a Scion hallmark since the introduction of the brand back in 2003. Offering vehicles vehicles that appeal to a small audience, not the mass-market. One that Murtha says the brand will solider on with.

“We’re going to continue to throw stuff out there that we might not do under the Toyota badge and see if it sticks. We’re trying to provide a lineup of products that are not for everybody.”

The only difference is that Scion will focus on being a niche player, not as a stepping stone into the Toyota lineup.

Source: The Detroit News

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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Based on what I am reading, Scion seems to be an R&D explore and see what sticks and does it have mass market appeal then we move it to Toyota.

Over all expect Scion to be an also ran brand of the future then based on it wanting to be a niche player. Sadly they do not have a Niche appeal even with their FR-S model.

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Scion is going to lose another brand loyalist real soon if my friend gets the job he is up for. He'll be trading his tC in for a BR-Z.

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If Google were to eventually team up w/ Scion to market self-driving cars (since they are already working w/ Toyota on them), then they would take off amongst the youf, I would think.

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I wouldn't mind seeing Scion sell the European Toyota Auris or Avensis in the U.S., but I don't know how successful those cars would be.

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toyoyo's problem isn't a scion problem, it's an industry problem. In other words, merely saying the car is 'fun to drive', or 'for the young' doesn't make it so.
Beyond that; here's really nothing special about scion whatsoever. And that recent commercial is bat$h! crazy.

It will take a true break-away to cause a lasting stir; a breakaway and a strong dedication to that breakaway product, but frankly the rules have constrained things so tightly, I don't know if that's possible.

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Well the tC and FR-S are both great handlers, but the FR-S is missing utility and the tC is missing personality.... but Toyota did make both fun to drive.

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If Google were to eventually team up w/ Scion to market self-driving cars (since they are already working w/ Toyota on them), then they would take off amongst the youf, I would think.

Your Dreaming, even if Google did get into bed with Scion, the youth are so past this dead brand. I give Toyota 5 years before they look to shut it down.

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tC even though it is a coupe looks a bit econocar.

I'll agree with you there. I've always thought the design of the current generation tC was a horrible step backward from the first model.

The first Scion tC was fairly handsome and clean design, but it wasn't totally bland and it was also understated for a Toyota product at the time (and even now, for that matter). In fact, because of those aformentioned qualities, I could almost say it was almost somewhat Teutonic in execution. Other contemporary Toyota models should've been designed to be more like it. The current car, however, is a blocky and inharmonious mess of a thing, a disgusting throwback to everything wrong about automotive design in the 1980s. I don't see a shortage of the first-gen tC models on the roads in my area, but I can't tell you when I've last seen the current model roaming around.

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FR-S is a nice start. How about a larger inexpensive RWD sports sedan?

I wouldn't mind a previous-gen Lexus IS with less equipment, a Scion badge, revised suspension, and a manual transmission for under $30K.

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FR-S is a nice start. How about a larger inexpensive RWD sports sedan?

I wouldn't mind a previous-gen Lexus IS with less equipment, a Scion badge, revised suspension, and a manual transmission for under $30K.

Never will happen based on their comments and the lack of Toyota to think outside a box for Design language.

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FR-S is a nice start. How about a larger inexpensive RWD sports sedan?

I wouldn't mind a previous-gen Lexus IS with less equipment, a Scion badge, revised suspension, and a manual transmission for under $30K.

It seems any of the mainstream manufacturers Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc. would benefit from such a sedan of the size of ATS, priced at around $25,000 and coming with 4 cylinder turbos up to 300 hp.

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Kirkland Toyota Dealership just moved into their new place and where at the old one Scion had their own actual building, the new place, it is just a section within the dealership building. They have totally toned down the whole scion is a separate brand/platform. The Toyota dealership on highway 99 in edmonds also just converted their Scion stand alone floor into a large multilevel parking garage to store their inventory rather than have it off site. They have gone to a single sales floor with a section dedicated to Scion and the rest all about Toyota.

I see this brand dying on the vine not surviving more than a few more years. Why else take away dedicated sales space in a separate building and going to a single building with a kiosk inside for the brand.

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